A World Outside: The Fiction of Paul Bowles

A World Outside: The Fiction of Paul Bowles

by Richard F. Patterson, Richard F. Patteson
     
 

Expatriation, the sense of being "outside" or exposed, is a central theme in the life and work of Paul Bowles. Beginning with Bowles' account of a frightening childhood memory, A World Outside explores how the dichotomies of inside and outside, safety and danger, enclosure and exposure—fundamental dualities in Bowles' fiction—have their

Overview

Expatriation, the sense of being "outside" or exposed, is a central theme in the life and work of Paul Bowles. Beginning with Bowles' account of a frightening childhood memory, A World Outside explores how the dichotomies of inside and outside, safety and danger, enclosure and exposure—fundamental dualities in Bowles' fiction—have their deepest origin in the fabric of Bowles' own life and also mark his kinship with other twentieth-century writers. Like V. S. Naipaul, Paul Bowles is one of those writers who have an uncanny grasp of what it is like never to feel "at home."

In this much-needed study, Richard Patteson explores how this sense of "outsidedness" characterizes one's experience in a world in which many of the traditional shelters—social, familial, religious—seem to have lost their ability to protect. He discovers that storytelling is the vehicle by which both Bowles and his characters attempt to domesticate inchoate experience, bringing it into the familiar interior of human comprehension.

The music world has for decades recognized Paul Bowles' stature as a composer, but his fiction is only recently receiving the close attention it has long deserved from students of American and contemporary literature. Bowles is an author who neither sought nor received the kind of publicity often lavished on his contemporaries but one whom an ever-growing audience regards as a commanding figure of twentieth-century American literature.

Editorial Reviews

Partisan Review
"... without question the best full-length study of Bowles's fiction to date."
American Literature
"If all critical studies were as necessary and well executed as A World Outside, one might spend more time indoors reading them, and criticism would be not another form of alienation but the help and joy it too often is not"

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780292790353
Publisher:
University of Texas Press
Publication date:
02/01/1987
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.39(d)

What People are saying about this

Tobias Wolff
"Paul Bowles is one of our finest writers, and Richard Patteson has made a substantial and original contribution to our understanding of his work. A World Outside succeeds brilliantly in discussing complex ideas with clarity and force, without the usual academic hedging and without retreating into jargon. I will pay him the highest possible compliment; namely, that he has proven himself worthy of his subject."

Meet the Author

Richard Patteson (1947–2010) was Professor of English at Mississippi State University.

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